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Cinque Terre

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Mar 18th, 2011, 07:00 AM
  #1
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Cinque Terre

We are going to Italy in May, and I am most excited about going to Cinque Terre! My thoughts are to stay 2 nights in Cinque Terre and a day in Pisa.

How far away is Cinque Terre from Pisa?
Is it possible to see all 5 towns in one day?
Is it better to take a train, walk, or a ferry to each town?
Which town is the best to stay the night:
Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and answer! Any thoughts and advice is most definitely welcomed
igpeaches is offline  
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Mar 18th, 2011, 07:25 AM
  #2
 
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If you click on my screen name you can read my trip report from our long weekend in CT last July. Cinque Terre is a 1-2 hour train ride from Pisa (too lazy to look up the exact distance).

It's definitely possible to see all 5 towns in one day and there are several ways to do it. You can hike trail between the towns; various sections of the trail are more challenging than others. The easiest portion of the hike is between Riomaggiore and Manarola and the trail between Vernazza and Monterosso is considered the most difficult. It was really hot when we were there so we decided to take a train to Riomaggiore, hike between Riomaggiore and Vernazza and then took a ferry back to Monterosso (our base).

We chose to stay in Monterosso as it is the biggest of the towns, has a beach, and has the most dining options. I would stay there again. It's not the most picturesque of the villages but still quite pretty. We stayed in the Hotel Margherita which I would highly recommend.
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Mar 18th, 2011, 07:47 AM
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We spent 5 days there last year (I will post our trip report in a min)and we enjoyed staying in Manarola.

You can see all 5 towns in a day. The best way is determined by the weather really. Last year we were there the last week of May and the rains in April and May had closed all the trails for the few weeks before our visit. The trails were still closed between Vernaza and Monterosso when we were there. Two of the days we were there the boats were not running because of rough seas. So it may be a case that the trains are the only way. They are easy and it only takes a few minutes between stops.
jamikins is offline  
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Mar 18th, 2011, 07:49 AM
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jamikins is offline  
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Mar 18th, 2011, 08:13 AM
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We spent 8 days in Manarola..Took day trip to Pisa, Portofino..Loved it every minute..It is such a beautiful and charming place.
kismetchimera is offline  
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Mar 18th, 2011, 09:33 AM
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I mean, it really depends on whether you like (reasonably gentle) hiking or not! I would recommend a combination of walking, train and boat - the train is quick, cheap and easy, the boat offers a really lovely view of the towns, and walking is, of course, its own reward, supposing you like that sort of thing. I was there for 2 full days (3 nights) and that enabled me to walk between all the towns, while still taking it pretty easy - long lunches, lying on the beach etc. I think, if you're reasonably fit (and I saw people in about their 60s doing the trail) it would be a real shame not to walk at least Riomaggiore - Manarola (flat, c. 20 minute stroll by the sea, very pretty) and at least one other leg. You could take a train and hike downwards rather than upwards if you're not keen on uphill hikes. But the views and the feeling of achievement from climbing up from sea level are very rewarding!

I stayed in Manarola, which suited me fine (I don't really have anything much to say about where to stay, I think I would have been fine with any of the towns really. Note, however, that the road uphill from the train station is VERY steep. I had 40 kgs of luggage with me and between dragging it up the hill and then carrying it up a flight of stairs to my hostel I was exhausted and dripping with sweat by the end of it!)
gwan is offline  
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Mar 18th, 2011, 11:39 AM
  #7
 
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A couple of years ago I saw Pisa and Cinque Terre on a day trip from Florence and I highly recommend it unless you plan on staying in Cinque terre overnight.

You simply take a 50 mins train from Florence to Pisa, spend a couple of hours there, then take another 50 min train to La Spezia, which is the main town next to Cinque Terre, then you can spend an hour or so wandering around each of the Cineque Terre villages. It's a wonderful day trip and certainly doable!
chillout is offline  
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Mar 18th, 2011, 11:41 AM
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Forgot to mention that there is also a direct train back to Florence from La Spezia, which is an added convenience for this option
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